Digital Marketing - Content is King & Creativity is Queen
Content Marketing is not a new concept, it's being used since ages and it was only until recently that it was suitably documented and defined. From the cave paintings in Egypt to the epic stunt videos by Redbull, it has always been there. It's quite simple if you think about it at the most basic level - You give people something that they might like and in return you receive goodwill, engagement and loyalty. If you want to take that up a notch then you might want to delve into cross-channel content marketing wherein you content doesn't rely just on white papers or videos or infographics but rather it's linked by a unified strategy.
Good content has the power to capture your attention. Great content has the power to influence your decisions.
When was the last time your read or saw something fascinating, something that made you go - wow this is incredible. Lets go back to that moment for minute. Close your eyes and...wait what? This is not a YouTube video. No really think about it, take your time. I'l wait......
Got it? Good. Now lets break it down and try to get as much data out of it as we can. The goal is to disseminate the content strategy and replicate it. I can't tell you how many times I have seen people blatantly plagiarize content, don't do that. Take inspiration from others and try to improve upon it, that should be your objective.
Okay here we go,
Step 1 - Get the broader picture: What is the story about? What is the story focused on?
Step 2 - Emotional Trigger: What emotion was triggered during the experience - Happiness, excitement, pride, love or fear?
Step 3 - The Pitch: How soon and how many times was the product shown or mentioned? ( You'd be surprised)
Now before you start getting excited let me bring you back to reality. There is no magic formula to content marketing. Its all about creativity. Sure, I can tell you what to look for and how to approach it but that's about it. I can't generalize creativity, its subjective to your business and more importantly to your audience.
Lets now look at an example and analyze it..
Wow that almost made me.... wait a min, where was the sales pitch? Did I miss it? Yeah you probably did but your subconscious didn't. Here's where this gets really interesting, there is a psychological persuasive technique at work here called the Halo Effect.
The Halo Effect to paraphrase is a cognitive bias that causes you to inadvertently favor a person/product/brand because of a pleasant experience by the maker. Without realizing it you've built a certain affinity towards Tesco. It's just human nature, you can't avoid it, unless you're a psychopath. Nisbett and Wilson conducted an experiment in 1977 which revealed that even though people understand this phenomenon, they are unaware of its occurrence. We will be discussing more about this in detail in an upcoming article.
Okay back to content marketing..
People often get confused between content strategy and content marketing, to put it simply content strategy is the WHAT & HOW and content marketing is WHERE. If you ask me, content strategy is a lot more difficult and that makes it riveting and exciting because it's all about innovation and ingenuity, what can you do that other's haven't even thought of or how can you adapt, improve and remodel someone else's strategy and apply it towards your business objectives.
Good content is all about keeping the reader engaged and unfortunately for content writers this is not the best time to live in, we now have an attention span of 8 seconds, shorter than that of a goldfish. This is hugely owed to the digital world we live in today. We've conditioned ourselves to multitask, we are constantly distracted by our emails, Whatspp messages, Instagram updates, Facebook requests, tweets and let's not forget those god awful intent specific popups going off in all directions every time you try to read a decent piece of news.
What you've got to do is account for this shortage of attention span in your content strategy. Use shorter sentences instead of longer paragraphs, use visuals every now and then to sustain the reader's attention. Think of it this way - You are a salesman and your readers are your customers. Engage with them and keep them occupied with whatever you got. The longer they stay the more they are likely to buy.
A nice blend of creativity, hard work and persistence will do the trick for you.